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EUROPE POWER-Spot for early next week jumps on cold weather, supply doubts
October 7, 2016 / 10:47 AM / a year ago

EUROPE POWER-Spot for early next week jumps on cold weather, supply doubts

* French spot for Monday hits 100 euros/MWh

* Concerns over French nuclear power supply persist

* Cold snap expected early next week

* Forward prices down alongside fuels

PARIS, Oct 7 (Reuters) - European prices for spot power delivery early next week rose on Friday with the French price hitting a four-year high on strong demand due to forecasts for cold weather and lingering supply uncertainty.

France’s spot power price for Monday delivery jumped 52 euros early on Friday to 100 euros ($111) per megawatt hour (MWh), its highest since February 2012.

European day-ahead and forward electricity prices have surged in the past week on worries that France, which depends on nuclear for 75 percent of power needs, could face tight supply on increased outages and output cuts from its 58 nuclear reactors.

French nuclear power availability was about 39.9 gigawatts (GW), or 63.17 percent of capacity on Friday, compared with 44.8 GW, or about 71 percent of capacity, the same time a year ago according to Thomson Reuters tabulation

“Many plants are scheduled to resume production soon: if they don‘t, prices will keep pushing up,” a trader said.

French grid operator RTE reported an unplanned outage at EDF’s 900 megawatts (MW) Cruas 2 reactor. It was expected to resume production later on Friday.

A restart at the 1,500 MW Chooz 2 reactor, offline since Thursday, was delayed until Monday and at the 1,300 MW Paluel 3 reactor, restart was also delayed until Saturday.

French baseload power price for Monday was up 25.75 euros at 80 euros/MWh compared with the price paid for Friday delivery, retreating from the earlier high.

The German contract gained 5.9 euros 44.75 euros /MWh, compared with the price paid for Friday delivery.

German wind power availability for Monday is expected to fall by 5.2 GW to 1.6 GW, contributing to the bullish outlook.

Temperatures will also fall on average 2.8 degrees Celsius in Germany, and 2.2 degrees in France, boosting heating demand and helping to keep combined consumption at 121.8 GW compared with 120.4 GW on Friday.

Along the forward power curve, prices fell alongside carbon, coal and oil futures.

The German benchmark Cal‘17 year-ahead baseload contract was down 65 cents or over 2 percent at 30.65 euros a megawatt hour (MWh), while the less liquid equivalent French contract edged down 1.2 percent to 41 euros /MWh.

Front-year EU carbon allowances fell 5.80 percent to 5.52 euros a tonne.

Coal, which accounts for more than 40 percent of German power generation, fell 0.82 percent to $66.5.

In eastern Europe, the Czech year-ahead 2017 contract slipped 1.40 percent to 31.60 euros /MWh.

The spot price for Monday delivery gained 8 euros or 17.78 percent to 53 euros/MWh. (Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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